The Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrat has called on the SNP Government to apologise to a lost generation that has lost out on a college education due to punishing cuts to part-time college places over seven years.
It has been reported today that the Scottish Government has told colleges they are no longer expected to focus on full-time courses for younger students at the expense of often older and female part time learners.
Official figures show the number of part-time college places has halved on the SNP's watch and there are now 150,000 fewer students than when they came to power.
Mr Rennie commented:
"Hundreds of thousands of part-time students have plunged off a cliff with their courses vanishing over the last seven years. They have missed out on unique opportunities to learn and been denied new job opportunities as a result. The SNP must apologise for their reckless and belligerent actions.
"The Scottish Government’s misguided approach has had a direct impact on the economy too as businesses and the public sector have been denied the skilled workforce that they need.
“It ignored the fact people, often older and female, are unable to learn full-time for so many reasons, from caring commitments to existing work.
"The SNP Government must repair the immense damage they have done. They must reverse the college cuts. Ending those cuts is essential if we are to give people a chance to get on in life and build a high wage, high skill economy."